Tight gas reservoirs exhibit storage and flow characteristics that are intimately tied to depositional and diagenetic processes. As a result, exploitation of these resources requires a comprehensive reservoir description and characterization program to identify properties which control production. In particular, tight gas reservoirs have significant primary and secondary porosity and pore connectivity dominated by clays and slot-like pores. This makes them particularly susceptible to the effects of overburden stress and variable water saturation. This paper describes an integrated approach to describe a tight gas sandstone at the pore scale in 3D. In particular, the primary and secondary porosity of a tight gas sandstone are identified and quantified in three dimensions using 3D X-ray micro-CT imaging and visualization of core material at the pore scale. 3D images allow one to map in detail the pore and grain structure and interconnectivity of primary and secondary porosity. Once the tomographic images are combined with SEM images from a single plane within the cubic data set, the nature of the secondary porosity can be determined and quantified. In-situ mineral maps measured on the same polished plane are used to identify different microporous phases contributing to the secondary porosity. Once these data sets are combined, the contribution of individual clay minerals to the microporosity, pore connectivity, and petrophysical response can be determined. Insight into the producibility may also be gained. This illustrates the role 3D imaging technology can play in a comprehensive reservoir characterization program for tight gas.

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